London launches its electric car charging network

London launched a scheme today that will allow electric car drivers to charge their vehicles across the city. A network of 150 more charging stations were added to the city, increasing the total number to more than 400.

London launched a scheme today that will allow electric car drivers to charge their vehicles across the city. The city, which has aimed to become the electric car capital of Europe, just added a network of 150 more charging stations, increasing the total number to more than 400.

Through the Source London charging scheme, members who have paid an £100 annual fee, will be able to charge their vehicles at supermarkets, car parks and roads across the city. Drivers will simply park in designated spaces, swipe their membership cards and they’re good to go.

Buyers of the Nissan LEAF will also receive free membership to the Source scheme for 12 months if they buy their car by the end of this year.

Electric cars in London are exempt from the central London Congestion Charge and pay no road tax. The government also provides additional subsidies on the price of the vehicle, to promote environment-friendly cars.

Mayor Boris Johnson said that the lack of charging stations were a hindrance to the mass adoption of electric vehicles, and hoped the new set up would help alleviate the problem.

"By giving increasing numbers of drivers the confidence in electric vehicle technology, we will make a considerable contribution to improving our air quality and cutting carbon emissions," Johnson said.

Johnson also announced earlier this year that London would have 1,300 charging stations by 2013, ensuring that every resident was within a mile of a station.

London currently has over 2,000 electric vehicles on its roads.

This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com

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